JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Walking onto a stage and receiving your high school diploma and throwing up a cap are highlights for most, if not all, seniors.
Now, that tradition is in jeopardy because of Oregon schools staying virtual for the remainder of the school year.
That’s the news students found waiting in their email inbox which is difficult to swallow.
Crater High School senior, Haley Brown, North Medford senior, Jane Ersepke and South Medford senior, Spencer Fowler said missing out on their last few months of school doesn’t give them any closure.
“To properly say goodbye to my teachers and things like that and I guess realizing I wasn’t going to be able to do that or see anybody these last few big events that happen towards the end of your high school career, I was pretty upset,” Brown said.
“It’s not a huge thing, but it’s one of those things, you work through 12 years of school and you’re always talking about the day you graduate, so for us to not have an actual ceremony, it would suck, honestly,” Ersepke said.
“It feels like everything just went away. One, graduation. Two, like all the ending activities that we do. I feel empathy for all of the ones who do activities in the spring too, because they’re were working on scholarships and trying to improve their marks,” Fowler said.
Despite the hurt, optimism rules in this uncontrollable situation.
“It could be worse. I mean, I’m healthy, my friends are healthy, my family is healthy. There’s no reason to get upset more than we already are,” Brown said.
“It was really hard at first, but I think we’re all doing better with it,” Ersepke said.
“Life will give you curve balls. You just have to eat them up keep pushing and it’ll make you stronger,” Fowler said.
Virtual ceremonies or actual physical graduation ceremonies may still occur.
Students are hopeful there will still be some sort of celebration to cap off the year.
NBC5 News reporter/weather forecaster Aaron Nilsson is a Southern California native, but most recently lived in Seattle. He’s also lived in Sweden and Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Scandinavian Studies. While at BYU, he covered sports for BYUtv.
Aaron is not new to the Medford/Klamath Falls market. He was a local TV journalist from 2013-2017.
Outside the station, Aaron enjoys music, traveling, sports, movies, and cooking. His favorite sport is soccer.